Mike and Anne visited NYC for the return of the Grand Portfolio Tasting
Skurnik Wines & Spirits is an importer and distributor of fine wines and spirits headquartered in the heart of New York City. We represent a high-quality, diversified portfolio of wines and spirits from around the world. The company began with just a handful of relatively unknown estates in 1987, and has since grown to represent over 500 estates, most of which are family-owned-and-operated.
Sisters, Sandy & Michelle, are on a mission to try two new wines per week. While tasting and reviewing, they share helpful hints as well as tips and tricks to wine tasting and selection. Periodic guests spanning the spectrum of the wine world, from the hobbyist to the wine insider will bring an additional perspective by sharing their wine stories as well as their interpretation of the wine tasted. Each episode uses the Wines To Find simple method for curating wines. Taste along with us and share your thoughts on whether or not the wines featured are Wines To Find.
Wines: Dashe Cellars Todd Brothers Ranch Old Vine Zinfandel, 2018 and Les Enfants Terrible Zinfandel, 2018
Guest: Anne Dashe
Dashe(ing) into National Zinfandel Day
BY MELANIE OFENLOCH
A monkey and a fish grace the logo of Dashe Cellars and it is a wine that my husband and I have enjoyed for years. While the logo has evolved, the sentiment remains. It’s a story of adventure, romance and wine illustrating “two creatures going on a journey” – a story of love and wine. A story of a newly married couple with one coming from a fishing village and one coming from Tarzana, CA, which inspired an artist to create the label.
When the bottle arrived for National Zinfandel Day, a day dedicated to celebrating all things zinfandel which is celebrated on November 17, I was excited to revisit a special bottle of this wine.
History of Zinfandel
Zinfandel is noted as one of the oldest grape varietals. While it has been mentioned as coming from Italy and Austria, Zinfandel has its own clear identity. In 2001, nine vines of “Crljenak Kaštelanski” were discovered in Croatia that had the same DNA structure as California Zinfandel.
In 1820, George Gibbs, a nursery owner, brought cuttings from Vienna to New York. It was grown mostly in greenhouse settings until Frederick Macondray brought Zinfandel vines to California. It survived phylloxera and unfortunately evolved into the experiment known as white zinfandel. This started a trend that led to the preservation of old Zinfandel vines.
The rest is a well-documented story and a movement dedicated to advancing the appreciation of Zinfandel wine and preserving its history.
The History: Dashe Cellars
Dashe Cellars is a family-owned artisan winery located in the old Naval Airbase in Alameda, CA that was established in 1996. Known as an urban winery, it was founded by Michael and Anne Dashe, who were newly married and believed that people shouldn’t have to travel to wine country to taste exceptional wines.
They are committed to creating wines that reflect soil, climate and vineyard characteristics. They focus on single-vineyard wines with a traditional, non-industrial approach to winemaking using small-lot fermentation, indigenous yeasts, and little or no fining or filtration.
The Wine: 2017 Dashe Cellars Todd Brothers Ranch Old Vines Zinfandel
The wine is 98 percent Zinfandel with 2 percent Petite Sirah and is aged for 18 months. It’s clear this is an Old Vine Zinfandel with vines planted back in 1958. It has so much depth with notes of blackberry, cherry, herbs, earth, cocoa, raspberry, chocolate and licorice.
On this day celebrating Zinfandel, I encourage you to grab a glass and toast to a grape that has found a clear identity – one that builds on flavor, character and history.
On the Bright Side
Showing vibrant fruit character, California’s 2018 Zinfandels can be enjoyed now or cellared
Zinfandel California Vineyard Select 2018
Score: 91 | $24
WS Review: Opens with a burst of jammy blackberry fruit and takes on tension and structure, along with toasty sage and pepper, toward refined tannins.
WHOLE-BERRY, HAPPY ZIN
BY JOSHUA GREEN
Mike Dashe lists this wine among the “light reds” in his production and, at 13.5 percent alcohol, it is significantly lighter than most contemporary zins. Its strength is in the evocation of a place. It grows in Redwood Valley, part of the Eagle Peak AVA established in 2014. Golden Vineyards owns the 1,000-acre ranch, where it limits the vineyard parcels to 60 acres, the farming certified biodynamic. Dashe ferments the wine as whole berries with some whole clusters and without added yeasts, then ages it in a 900-gallon French oak barrel, bottling with limited sulfur. It tastes as if the yeasts have consumed only enough of the whole berries that the structure and shape of the grape is still intact, allowing light to shine through the skin. Those skins hold bright tannins, thriving with energy, providing thorns to the rose scents and iron to the dark plum and pomegranate flavors. A bottle will go fast as it’s a wine to make you smile. (373 cases)
12 Outstanding California Wines for Mother’s Day
Zinfandel Eagle Peak Les Enfants Terribles Heart Arrow Ranch 2018
Score: 90 | $32
WS review: A wild berry patch in a bottle, with vibrant cherry, fresh violet and spicy fennel flavors, finishing with zesty tannins. Drink now through 2027. 373 cases made.—Tim Fish
YEAR'S BEST ZINFANDEL
94 | Dashe 2018 Dry Creek Valley Florence Vineyard Zinfandel $42
90 | Dashe 2018 Alexander Valley Old Vines Todd Brothers Ranch Zinfandel $42
93 | Dashe 2018 Eagle Peak Les Enfants Terribles Heart Arrow Ranch Zinfandel $32
TOP 25 WINERIES TO VISIT
BY ESTHER MOBLEY
Going wine tasting is one of the great Bay Area pastimes. Visiting a winery here is a chance to experience so many of the features that make this region special: the land’s natural beauty, a rich tradition of artisanal craftsmanship and a deep, abiding love for eating and drinking deliciously.
Best of all, world-class wines are now made in all corners of the Bay Area — not just in the famous appellations of Napa and Sonoma counties, but also on mountains overlooking Silicon Valley and in former military bases in the East Bay. Today’s Wine Country consists not only of palatial estates overlooking vineyards but also sleek tasting bars in downtown squares, industrial warehouses and, increasingly, sidewalks and parking lots, as urban wineries adapt to the needs of the COVID-19 era.
A Zinfandel specialist with a light touch located in a former Alameda airplane hangar.
The specialty at Dashe Cellars is Zinfandel — but these balanced, bright, often single-vineyard wines fly in the face of any stereotypes of California Zin as jammy and boozy. The winery relocated in 2019 from Oakland to the area of the former Alameda Naval Air Station known as Spirits Alley, where a cluster of exciting wineries, distilleries and breweries has emerged. Dashe's setup is well suited to COVID safety: There’s ample space outside of its warehouse winery at the southern edge of Alameda island, adjacent to a bird sanctuary and in prime view of the San Francisco skyline. Apart from the Zinfandels, make sure to try some of the wines under Dashe's Les Enfants Terribles label, a collection of crunchy, red-fruited, lightly extracted reds. The winery doesn't serve food, but food trucks come to the patio on Saturdays and Sundays.
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'-Our editors select their favorite values from the Golden State, with something for everyone By Keith Newton
Tim Fish’s Top Picks
91 | $24 | DASHE | Zinfandel California Vineyard Select 2018
This opens with a burst of jammy blackberry fruit, then takes on tension and structure, offering notes of toasty sage and pepper, with refined tannins. (T.F.)
“Wild Thing is the perfect name for this flavorful value, sourced from barely tamed, gnarly old vineyards and fermented with wild yeast.”
“Culled from the winery’s vineyard sources in Dry Creek Valley, Contra Costa and Clarksburg, this delicious red is ideal for casual meals.”
BY JUBRIL AGORO OF PASSPORT HEAVY
It's such a treat to see our Oakland location on film again!
In this part 2 of the Oakland Documentary, we show a lot of the positivity and good things happening in Oakland; From the top places to visit, eat, to the best places to hang out in Oakland.
Look out for a few gems that only true people from Oakland "Town" would know about.
Give a gift that will make a lasting impression! Dashe Cellars is helping to make your holiday shopping fast and easy. Beautiful gift boxes; superb pre-selected wine sets…..and this year we’re offering
Complimentary Ground Shipping
Complimentary Black Satin Finish Gift Packaging
on all sets in our Holiday Shop.